The Premier League form guide shows these Arsenal vs Southampton predictions as a relegation six-pointer. That’s how desperate both clubs are for a win.
Unai Emery and Ralph Hasenhüttl are under pressure to turn their respective seasons around, adding spice to a match which ought to be a home banker.
However, with Arsenal you can never be sure which team will turn up. Despite being unbeaten at home, the Gunners are unconvincing at best.
Fortunately for Arsenal, Southampton aren’t even bothering with Dr Jekyll; it’s straight to Mr Hyde for their results.
The nine-goal drubbing by Leicester was the nadir but winning remains a long-distant dream. However, if there is one team who can help them…
We got our crystal ball out in preseason so how are our 2019 Premier League predictions for both clubs standing up at this early stage of the campaign?
Arsenal vs Southampton Predictions
In terms of form, this is a relegation battle. Arsenal, with one win in six, hosts a Southampton side for whom ‘win’ is just a three-letter word.
The Gunners are a different proposition at home. Vulnerable, nonetheless, but more likely to score than on the road. Spurs in the League Cup nine months ago was the last time Arsenal drew a blank at home in any competition but in the league, it was the opening day of last season.
Southampton without a clean sheet in seven (D1, L6) is just the sort of team Arsenal need to face. But the feeling is entirely mutual. While Arsenal are unbeaten in seven at home (W3, D4) this season, the Gunners recorded just one clean sheet in those matches, underlining the defensive woes which bedevil them.
Down the Seven Sisters Road, the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham turns an uneasy spotlight on Unai Emery. Whilst the Arsenal hierarchy back the Spaniard, there is growing momentum behind supporter discontent and his time in North London feels limited.
But his biggest issue is the squad. The dressing room is behind him but shows signs of fracture. Stories of unsettled players, of discontent with each other deliberately leaked into the press during the international break which is never a good sign.
However, the major problem he must resolve is the lack of confidence which besieges his players when they cross the white line. In the Premier League, only Newcastle and Bournemouth failed to breach the Gunners defence and even they wonder how they failed.
So far this season, Arsenal conceded 17 goals and have a negative goal difference. It isn’t as if they have one result skewing the figures; on six occasions, the Gunners conceded two or more goals.
While you can win cups conceding a hatful of goals, that sort of form isn’t going to bring success of any kind in a league. Until Emery solves the defensive woes, Arsenal’s hopes of returning to the Champions League remain a distant dream.
The performance at Leicester in the 2 – 0 defeat last time around underlined just how far the Gunners must travel to rekindle even a hint of former glories. Arsenal were lacklustre and inhibited in attack. Defensively, they were too easily taken apart in the second half and there was always a feeling that the Foxes could add more.
Southampton know that vibe. They have conceded 29 goals so far which even removing the nine from the Leicester game is close to two per match on average. On eight occasions, they conceded 2+ goals in the league.
It’s relegation form and their league position knows it. Like Arsenal, there is something hideously familiar for their fans about this season. Quite simply, it is a continuation from last time around which begs the question of whether they can escape the clutches of the relegation fight?
There are small positives. Only Burnley and Leicester stopped them scoring but only in the 2 – 0 win over Brighton did the Saints net more than once. In a dismal season, winning the local derby is at least a bright spot.
But they are few and far between. Two wins in 10 (D2, L6) overall but four defeats in seven on the road (W2, D1) offers a glimmer of hope. A creditable point at Wolves with a win at Sheffield United (who turned Arsenal over as well as inside out) show there is something for the Saints to cling onto.
Those two teams caused the Gunners no end of problems, something Hasenhüttl will hope to build on. But, like Unai Emery, confidence is a big issue. A win at the Emirates would do Southampton the world of good.
Yet, that win for Southampton, even with Arsenal suffering a malaise, seems extremely unlikely.
Arsenal vs Southampton Head to Head
Arsenal dominates this fixture with 50 wins to Southampton’s 21 and 26 drawn.
The Saints haven’t won at Arsenal in the league since 21st November 1987 (D5, L19) when Rodney Wallace scored the game’s only goal.
Arsenal won last season’s corresponding fixture 2 – 0 with Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan netting in the first seventeen minutes.
Arsenal Team News
Dani Ceballos is the only absentee through injury following his hamstring twang in Guimarães. Granit Xhaka played and scored for Switzerland in Gibraltar but it is questionable whether Unai Emery will bring him back into the misfiring XI.
Southampton Team News
Ryan Bertrand is available having served his suspension while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg featured during the international break and is expected to return to the matchday squad.
Arsenal vs Southampton Betting Tips
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 32 home matches against teams in the relegation zone so it is no surprise to see the Gunners odds-on favourites at 27/50 in Novibet’s matchday odds. Southampton are 49/10 with the draw 7/2.
Although Southampton have scored in three of their last four visits to the Emirates, their poor form makes a Home Clean Sheet at 6/4 appealing.
However, The Gunners aren’t pulling up any trees defensively so Arsenal to Win & Both Teams to Score at 17/10 is worth looking at.